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Motivation - I want to own one of these one day! - Photo courtesy of Royal Palm Friesians.

Dressage - isn't it so lovely?! Photo courtesy of Royal Palm Friesians.

Another gorgeous photo courtesy of Royal Palm Friesians. I can't wait - one day!


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05 September 2011

The Past - I've made a few attempts at losing weight before. I made public announcements of my intention here at Spark People, to friends and family. I adopted better eating habits, put in the exercise, and the weight started to come off. Then, after a few weeks of success, something would occur that would derail me. Oh, the things that initially derailed me were real enough: a broken ankle, a rare virus, surgery, all perfectly legitimate reasons to take it easy. However, I didn't just take it easy. I used each of these things as an excuse to stop altogether.

When each one ocurred I felt almost relieved. This was my chance to throw up my hands, go back to my old eating habits and sedentary ways. In this way, the failure was "not my fault" but rather the universe conspiring against me to keep me fat. That's how I justified it to myself anyway.

The real reason I quit? I think I was afraid of success. Although I talked a good game, and started out eating healthily and working out regularly, I didn't have the right mindset. I said all the right things that you hear in every blog and forum out there. I was going through the motions and even had myself fooled a good deal of the time into thinking I was committed wholeheartedly.

Looking back, I realise I was still seeing it all as a means to an end. I didn't really care about being healthy. I just wanted to be thin. The only reason I attempted to do it healthily rather than diet pills and the like was because I was afraid that if I did it through pills or surgery that I would have a rebound effect immediately after because my diet and lack of exercise would be largely unchanged. Secretly, I rubbed my hands together and waited for the day when I was thin and could "eat anything I wanted without people looking at me."

Was...I....serious?????!!!!! COME ON!!! I'm sure you're much smarter than me because it is glaringly obvious what is wrong with that mindset, but I thought I was doing whatever it took to reach my goals. But we are more than physical beings. We are emotional and intellectual. I was addressing everything physically but hadn't engaged myself mentally and emotionally.

Last year I moved to Germany not speaking a word of German. On the airplane from England to Germany, I could not fasten my seatbelt. I was mortified and just held the pieces of the belt across my lap and put one of those small airplane blankets over my midsection to cover it up. I was mortified. And I felt like at any moment the jig would be up because surely, a 300 lb woman needing a blanket on a hot July day would arouse suspicion. I was clearly hot and sweaty just like everybody else on that plane. I was so afraid that they would throw me off or make me pay for an extra seat that I couldn't afford. (Notice that I thought more about the humiliation of people knowing I was too big for the seatbelt than my actual safety? I would rather put myself at more risk of injury by not actually being fastened in than to draw attention to my weight by admitting I couldn't fasten the belt.)

That was a bit of a wake-up call for me, but still I did not do anything about it. Instead I used all my new excuses. I don't speak the language. I don't know how to ask for things. I don't recognise any of the products. I don't want to buy that because I can't ask how to prepare it. I can't go out and walk because I might get lost/mugged/have an accident in a new country. I can't get a gym membership because ...( insert lame language excuse here)... The list could go on and on. Fast forward to.....

The Present - Around the middle of July, I finally decided I'd had enough of being fat and blaming it on the universe. I was drinking my usual Pepsi out of a large thermal cup that had somehow managed to travel with me from America 9 years ago, something like 48 or 52 ounces. (When Europeans saw it, they would often marvel at the size of it and their eyes would go wide when I would put ice in it and then start filling it with Pepsi.) Sometimes I would drink it all down quickly and refill it. Other times, I would take an initial drink and forget about it for awhile, then come back to it. It was one of these days that it struck me. I picked up my cup and the ice had melted and watered it down quite a bit. It didn't even taste nice. Yet I still sat there and drank it, wrinkling up my nose and kind of forcing it down. Well, I didn't want to WASTE it! And it was as I had that thought that I realised how completely ridiculous I was being. I'm forcing myself to have all these calories (sometimes drinking 2 - 3 Liters per day) and not even enjoying it!

I decided I would cut down on Pepsi. I would drink it only when I wanted to taste it. Otherwise, I would drink iced tea or water. For a few days I had one Pepsi a day and soon I realised that I didn't even need that one Pepsi. I was only drinking it "because I could" and out of habit. So when I finished off the 2 Liter bottle I had, I decided not to buy more to replace it. If I wanted Pepsi from now on, I could have it...if I was willing to walk to the store on a special trip to get it. After cutting out the Pepsi altogether, my stomach seemed to deflate a bit. I found I could put pressure on my belly without feeling like it was about to pop. This small change really made me feel better.

By the first week of August, I had decided I would "try" to start going for a walk in the evenings. I wouldn't push myself too far because quite frankly I wasn't sure what my feet would allow. The first night, I walked for probably less than half a mile trying to keep a brisk pace, stopping half way at a bus stop bench to sit down and catch my breath. The following night, I matched my first walk without taking the break. On the third night I found a pedestrian/bicycle path that took me away from the main road where I attempted for the first time in about 3 years to jog.

This is where I had my AHA moment. When I discovered that I could jog (because my knees hadn't buckled beneath me with the first step) I jogged as hard and as long as I could, which was about 10-15 seconds (and was not fast at all). Because I was so embarassed about being seen in public at my size, I would only go out around 1 or 2 am to exercise when there would be fewer people around to witness it. So on this pedestrian path away from the main road, it was about 2am and although there were street lights along the path at intervals, there were still dark areas in between one light and the next. I imagined muggers, murderers, wild animals, gremlins, and all sorts of potential threats.

The thought occurred to me that if any of those things had been real, I was easy prey. At my fastest, even with the adrenaline pumping, it would be a very short chase. I have let my weight be a detriment to myself.

It is at that point that I realised I want to get into shape, not purely for aesthetics but because I don't want to be a liability to myself anymore. I would be lying if I said that being thin is no longer important to me, but it is not the principal motivating factor any longer. Eating healthily and exercising are no longer a means to an end, but rather, being thin will be an eventual byproduct of taking care of myself.

In browsing through some of the Spark forums and reading about motivation techniques, someone recommended the free mental toughness course at Even though I did not like the guy giving the course initially, I listened to what he had to say and I'm glad I did because it really helped me to engage mentally and emotionally with the weightloss struggle.

I am only at the beginning of my journey to lose weight. I've forgiven myself for my past failures because I have learned from them. I am no longer afraid of success because I AM a success now. The weight will come off over time as a byproduct.

It is early days and my credibility with everyone is shot, so I won't make any grand promises or speeches. I'll let the results speak for themselves over time. Since I am doing everything my body needs to be healthy, I have nothing to prove anymore. Now it's just about living.

Thank you to Royal Palm Friesians for allowing me to use their magnificent photos in my gallery for motivation.

Member Since: 9/15/2006

Fitness Minutes: 2,109

My Goals:
To lose 150+ lbs to reach my natural weight. I am unsure what that is at the moment, but I will know it when I see it. My tracker says 135, but for my frame, I think that is too low. But once all the fat disappears, maybe I'll find I'm not "large framed" after all.

My Program:
I am keeping my calories to about 1500 per day. I have cut out all carbonated sodas, fast food, and candy bars. I am eating lean meats, vegetables and fruits. I exercise 4-6 days per week. At the moment, my exercise is consisting mainly of cardio, however I plan to implement strength training soon.

Personal Information:
I am a 37-year-old married woman living in Germany. I am originally from Texas and hope to go back there one day.

Other Information:
I've not yet posted pictures of myself because I find them too embarrassing at the moment. I plan to post them when I can see a big enough change - haha.

In the meantime, a motivational picture will have to suffice for your viewing pleasure!

Read More About SERENYA - Profile Information moved here. (Updated September 16)

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    HEY sweets ... yeah I just got them. I wasn't getting my notifications ... and then life got a little crazy... and now i'm back in Mexico trying to catch up. I'll respond today, I promise!

    2442 days ago
  • v GINA180847
    Thank you for including me as a Friend. I hope you post lots about Germany because I can then live vicariously through you. When I was 6 (1953) my mother followed my father to Canada with 5 of my siblings. We came on an old tub of a boat and crossed the huge country of Canada by train. I arrived in northern Alberta with chicken pox.It was horrible! My siblings were 10 ,7 ,2 ,1 ,amd 3 months. Dad met us but left us soon after and mom raised us as a single parent as an RN. She is my hero, forever. Good luck with your weight struggles!
    2442 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/17/2011 11:09:33 AM
    Thank you so much for the little bit of "Happy" It sure will make me smile today! Have a good one yourself!
    2442 days ago
  • v SIMPLYISH7399
    NO NO NO YOU ARE emoticon ! You Rock! Have a great day!
    2445 days ago
    emoticon YES YOU CAN emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon I Love Horses too! Have a successful Sunday and keep Motivated! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Diana emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2448 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/11/2011 6:34:04 PM
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